Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding Union Food Supply and Public Distribution minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s assurance, the ruling BJD today held a state-wide stir demanding higher quota of rice under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) for the state.

The BJD is holding this demonstrations at all district headquarters across the State. The party will organise a protest rally and will submit a memorandum to the governor to press the demand through the district collectors later in the day.

“Prior to the implementation of the NFSA, we sent a survey report highlighting the food grains preferred by the Odia people. The survey clearly indicated that rice was preferred to wheat by the people. The demand for rice is not ours but of the consumers. The quantity of rice that we are demanding actually reflects the requirement of the consumers of Odisha. We are fighting in the interest of the people of Odisha. BJP and Congress should feel ashamed that they are ignoring the demands of Odia people,” said Cuttack Barabati MLA Debasis Samantray at the rally organised in Cuttack.

“Rice is the staple diet of the people of Odisha. Rather than provide the quantity of rice required by us, the central government is giving us wheat instead. They are trying to dump wheat on us but we are demanding rice,” said BJD leader Raseswari Panigrahi at the rally in Sambalpur.

Meanwhile, BJP's Sameer Mohanty slammed the ruling-BJD terming the protests as a gimmick. "The BJD is trying to mislead people through protests. The Centre has already agreed to the demands and the State will receive higher quantity of rice from June 1," said Mohanty.

On May 3, the ruling party had organised a rally at Raj Bhavan here.

On May 11, Union Food and Public Distribution minister Ramvilas Paswan slammed the State government for politicizing Odisha’s demand for an increase in rice quota under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Paswan said the Centre had never refused to do so and was already looking into the matter. He also assured that the demands will be implemented by June 2016.